Tag Archives: Fleche Opperman

Nervousness is setting in

In case you haven’t guessed, I like to push the boundaries of my endurance. Actually, I just like to push boundaries full stop. I ride life like it’s a runaway train.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes get nervous about the crazy stuff I sign myself up for.

This weekend, I am going to be totally audacious. I have signed up to ride in the Audax Australia Fleche Opperman 24 hour team cycling challenge. The challenge requires teams to ride a minimum of 360km in 24 hours as a team (i.e. not as a relay). Teams set their own routes but:

  • must finish at the designated finish location (for South-East Queensland, this is the Ipswich Brothers’ Leagues Club)
  • the route must not travel down the same roads in the same direction more than once because the idea is to simulate cycle touring
  • each team member must ride at least 25km in the final 2 hours of the 24 hour window.

The team I joined will be attempting to ride 369km within the allowable time. I’ve never been beyond the 200km mark so this will be entirely new territory. I don’t know how to prepare for Saturday’s adventure.

  • I don’t know whether I should just take the whole week off exercise and get loads of calories into me (I’ve estimated I’ll be burning 11,000 – 14,000 calories during the event). Or whether I should still keep doing some light training until the event.
  • And what should I carry with me to eat during the event? I mean, how does one carry 11,000 – 14,000 calories in jersey pockets?
  • And what if it rains overnight? I don’t own any wet weather gear for cycling; I don’t even own a wind vest (though I think I’ll pick one of them up this week).

Audax cycling is all about being audacious. And it suits my life motto:

For every success, a thousand failures forgotten lie. For every failure to try, a thousand successes prematurely die. (Anon)

This is a huge challenge for me. It’s a real adventure into the unknown. I’m excited … but I’m equally nervous about what this unknown will bring.

If anyone has any practical tips about how I should approach the event, I’m certainly open to all suggestions.